Easy Bow Tie Pasta Salad Recipe

A big batch of this bow tie pasta salad will look so aesthetically pleasing when scooped out onto plates. But that's not the only thing that's beautiful about this recipe. The beauty also lies in the fact that, once it's prepared, you can have the pasta salad on hand and ready to serve up in seconds flat for up to three days, as it's delicious eaten cold straight out of the fridge. As a matter of fact, it's arguably better that way, even though room temperature is tasty as well, so no problem if it sits out for a bit on the serving table. 

Chef and recipe developer Sher Castellano says this pasta salad "would go great with any summer cookout, barbecue, potluck, or party." It even makes a great lunch or tasty snack.

Another beautiful thing? Castellano says, "This is a really easy recipe — nothing major to watch out for." So basically, you don't have to be a pro chef in order to prepare it, although the finished product does look professional. As long as you can cook pasta according to package directions (According to Castellano, "Al dente pasta is preferred."), chop basil, chives, and tomatoes, and toss some ingredients, you can make this excellent side dish that will be the perfect accompaniment to hot dogs, veggie burgers, salmon fillets, kebabs ... and the list goes on.

Gather your ingredients to prepare this easy bow tie pasta salad

When it comes to pasta salad, there's plenty of room for debate. Are black olives a must-have, or do they overpower? The same goes for red pepper flakes. Can you add beans? And how about chopped chicken? Don't be afraid to branch out and try all sorts of variations of the dish. But first and foremost, go ahead and follow Castellano's recipe closely, as it yields an absolutely scrumptious pasta salad you'll likely be obsessed with.

For this recipe, you'll need farfalle pasta, extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, fine sea salt, black pepper, minced fresh basil, crumbled feta cheese, a can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained), corn kernels (fresh or frozen and thawed), cherry tomatoes (halved), and minced chives.

Cook the pasta, and make the dressing

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil, and then cook the pasta according to package's directions. Note that Castellano says, "Al dente pasta is preferred [as] overcooked pasta would yield a poor texture." Once the pasta is al dente, drain the hot pasta water, and rinse the noodles under cold water until the pasta becomes room temperature, which will take about one minute.

Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and the chopped basil, stirring until the ingredients are well combined, and then set aside.

Assemble the pasta salad, toss with the basil vinaigrette, and serve

If you have not already, now is the time to slice the corn from the cob (or warm the frozen kernels), halve the tomatoes (or even quarter larger ones), crumble the feta, rinse the chickpeas, and chop the chives.

Next, in a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked (and cooled) pasta, feta cheese, chives, chickpeas, corn, tomatoes, and finally the basil vinaigrette. Mix and toss until everything is well combined.

Serve the pasta salad at room temperature, or wait until it has chilled. It can be refrigerated for up to three days in a covered container and, for the record, may even taste better on day two or three!

The surprising health benefits of pasta salad

Pasta salad might seem like a semi-indulgent food, but it's actually quite a healthy dish, provided you don't load it up with extra ingredients like salami or fattier cheeses. The pasta itself can be quite good for you if you use whole grain pasta, which can deliver 6 grams of fiber, 7.5 grams of protein, in addition to almost 100% of your recommended dietary intake of manganese, per one cup serving (via Healthline). Tomatoes – especially raw as they are served in this recipe — are rich in vitamin C, folate, and potassium, while red wine vinegar might positively impact the health of your heart. Basil is a good source of vitamin K, and olive oil is chock-full of antioxidants.

So in case you needed some reasons to eat pasta salad beyond the flavor, there you go.

Easy Bow Tie Pasta Salad Recipe
4.9 from 50 ratings
This easy bow tie pasta salad is the ultimate recipe to prepare for summer cookouts, barbecues, and potlucks.
Prep Time
4
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
6
servings
bow tie pasta in bowl
Total time: 14 minutes
Ingredients
  • ½ pound farfalle pasta
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh basil, minced
  • 3 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup chives, minced
Directions
  1. Prep your ingredients. The chickpeas should be drained and rinsed, the cherry tomatoes cut in half, the chives minced, and the fresh basil minced.
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to package's al dente directions. Drain the cooked pasta, and rinse under cold water until the pasta becomes room temperature, about 1 minute.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sea salt, pepper, and minced basil until combined, and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, feta cheese, chickpeas, corn, cherry tomatoes, and basil vinaigrette, and mix until well combined.
  5. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 475
Total Fat 24.0 g
Saturated Fat 4.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 12.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 52.4 g
Dietary Fiber 6.9 g
Total Sugars 6.0 g
Sodium 485.0 mg
Protein 13.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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